Jump to content


 

Photo

St Andrews Beach


  • Please log in to reply
511 replies to this topic

#1 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 17 March 2005 - 04:01 AM

This is a thread for Andrew Beach, or anyone else from down that way, to provide positive information and updates about St Andrews Beach Golf CLUB in an effort to inform the members of this forum about this great project and perhaps convince some people on here to look into joining.

Interesting to see if it gets any replies.



#2 MatthewM

MatthewM

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1857 posts

Posted 17 March 2005 - 09:32 AM

Jeffrey and others,

as you know I'm not a member but one piece of positive information on St. Andrews Beach is the recent post on GCA by Mark Ferguson, containing some immaculate B&W photos of the Gunnamatta course.

Definitely worth a visit. They'll make you drool. Mark can take awesome pics, and he's got a great subject to photograph.

I look fwd to a game there soon, and reporting back.
May have to take 2 tapes for the dictaphone down there with me.

MM



#3 marcel

marcel

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1191 posts

Posted 17 March 2005 - 05:53 PM

QUOTE: MatthewM @ Mar 16 2005, 11:32 PM


May have to take 2 tapes for the dictaphone down there with me.

MM

God help us when the Fingal course opens



#4 ThanksForAllTheFish

ThanksForAllTheFish

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1852 posts

Posted 17 March 2005 - 07:36 PM

Nice initiative Jeffrey

Here's my contribution
The waiting is over



#5 captainporks

captainporks

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 39 posts

Posted 17 March 2005 - 10:52 PM

QUOTE: rsheehy @ Mar 17 2005, 09:36 AM

Nice initiative Jeffrey

Agreed.

I have been very interested in a membership at StAB for a while now, and consequently I've played the course a couple of times with the GCPL guys - all of whom have been absolutely fantastic. As an unabashed fan of Doak's work, I really believe that it in time it will be one of the jewels in the Peninsula's crown.

One of the reasons I started reading this forum was to get some more information on the golf membership market in Melbourne for the purpose of aiding my decision making. At 15+ pages of mostly irrelevant information, the other main thread on StAB is a little bit too much for me to handle.

As far as I know GCPL are struggling for numbers at this stage - hence the revised prospectus. That said, I see the revised prospectus as a much easier purchase proposition than the old one. $50k up front in a buyer's market was never going to work. I actually see the current GCPL struggles merely as a timing issue. With interest rates rising (etc. etc.) I feel that the development may have started a year later than what was ideal.

So the question I am asking myself, but I’m unable to answer is - do I jump in now and write off any depreciation as a 'lifestyle expense', or do I wait 6-12 months and re-assess then?

The answer to this depends greatly on my current financial position. If it didn’t, I’d be a member already. Unfortunately the reality is that the answer is somewhat out of GCPL’s hands and depends on the market. Despite how much I’m completely in love with the course and really want to be a part of it through development stage, I’m yet to be convinced that it is a sound financial decision considering Melbourne's current over supply of golf memberships.

I would dearly love somebody with more knowledge on the current and future demand/supply of course memberships in Melbourne to place my concerns at ease. The sentimental man inside tells me that the money shouldn't matter and that you join a course because you like playing it and for the camaraderie with fellow members. However for me right now the issue of dollars and cents needs to make more sense! Please somebody sell it to me!!!



#6 John J Jones

John J Jones

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2765 posts

Posted 17 March 2005 - 11:14 PM

Captain,

It's an interesting question isn't it blink.gif I'd love to understand why the StAB boys have chosen to go down the path they have - very high up front cost but no subs. Interestingly this is the opposite of 13th Beach who last I heard only wanted $10k to get in and then subs of around $2k (plus or minus $400 as I don't have the doc in front of me).

The good news is that once you have paid the $50k then you are basically playing for "free". For people looking at retiring for example that would be attractive. The downside is the risk is far greater from a number of aspects. Until it's all up and running profitably you have a lot more "at risk". Likewise you are likely to see greater swings in the share price on the secondary market when one develops. Obviously a 10% swing in either direction has more fiscal impact (good or bad) on $50k than $10K. From the point of view of shifting the share at a later date if your circumstances changed I just think there would be less people out there with $50 to spend than say $10K.

The ability to pay over time that is in the new prospectus improves matters but I haven't looked at the fine print around interest if any that will be charged and what happens under various circumstances to comment too much.

The good news for golfers today is that it's a buyers market and there are lots of options at some very good clubs. Good luck with your decision.

JJ



#7 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 18 March 2005 - 02:25 AM

JJJ,

There is an intersting quote in "Cornish and Whitten" about what happenned to a lot of clubs that gave away too many seeding memberships in the 1920s before the depression hit. I will post it when I get home in a few days if someone can't find it earlier.



#8 captainporks

captainporks

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 39 posts

Posted 18 March 2005 - 03:43 AM

I'd love to see that Jeffrey...

JJJ - I agree with your comments wholeheartedly.



#9 Jim

Jim

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1073 posts

Posted 18 March 2005 - 07:57 AM

QUOTE: John J Jones @ Mar 17 2005, 12:14 PM

The good news is that once you have paid the $50k then you are basically playing for "free".  For people looking at retiring for example that would be attractive. 

JJ, you can get 5.4% pa from ING Direct. That's $2700 pa. It is hardly "free". Better off to stick the money in the bank, collect the interest and lease one. I know different people have different tax rates, but at least that way you avoid the sleepless nights. Transferable memberships are a great thing to lease, no large costs, no waiting lists, no joining fees. And if you don't like the members you can leave at anytime. wink.gif



#10 Richard Stephen Taylor

Richard Stephen Taylor

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts

Posted 19 March 2005 - 02:05 AM

I am glad you capitalised CLUB.

I have resided in the USA for several years, and had the good fortune to play several Doak courses, all of which have been universally excellent.

Returning back home to live a year or so ago, as soon as I heard that Doak was in charge of a two-course project, I had a look see, then joined pretty much on the spot.

The first course is a very special place to play, but, more importantly, if you look at much of the literature, they are truly intent on creating a great CLUB first and foremost.

It is a lot of money, yes - although still dirt cheap by US standards, which are typically around $75,000 entry fees, $500 or so per month in subscriptions, and another $200-300 per month in what are ubiquitously termed bar expenses.

You can either affford it, or you can't.

You can either want to pay it, or you do not.

You are either married to someone whom won't mind, or whom you can bribe.

There can be no rational logic for spending such a sum to play such an infuriating game, but it all comes down to what you want out of life. I myself would rather enjoy a pleasant stroll on a lovely course, than worry about 5.4%. Didn't the good Doctor Mackenzie believe, after all, that golf was a cure for many of our ills?
Maybe if there is an accountant or two on board here, they could post information about recovering the cost via Medicare?

It is currently a very raw course, I think it would be fair to say, but, in several years, once the programme of planting native vegetation has been completed, will be one of the most spectacular courses imaginable, given the beauty of our fauna, I would hope.

I count myself fortunate indeed to have played Sand Hills and the glorious National Golf Links of America - although strangely, and frustratingly enough, I could only wangle an invitation to those two alone - and I believe the first course here compares favourably to either of them. It is of a similar scale, although perhaps not quite as old-fashioned as National Golf Links, and features much, much smaller greens than those found at Sand Hills, so is a different, but ultimately still vastly enjoyable, challenge.

I have only seen the land of the second course from the bumpy seat of a golf cart, but that looks to be something quite worthy too, if not a tad more 'severe'.

I don't see the availability of the second course to the 'semi-public' as an issue at all. Most golf clubs have corporate days at least once or twice per week anyway. Apartment owners will only number around 120, so not a lot there. The hotel may draw quite a few, but they are only working on approximately 70 rounds per day to make the courses pay - hardly likely to cause an unceasing backlog on the tee, one would have thought. As well, there will be certain times set aside for members only.

I do wish, however, that they had released the current prospectus much sooner. Most attractive, to my mind, and would have done much to alleviate the uncertainty many undoubtedly feel.

I have the fullest confidence in the people in charge of the project, even if one of them is a lawyer. They have answered immediately my most probing concerns in a straightforward manner.

I wouldn't think 'struggle' is perhaps the correct verb - as I understand it, they have around 75% of the numbers needed to erase the debt incurred thus far, and construct the rest of the infrastructure, although obviously, the more the merrier.

I find it amusing that The Heritage, a typically well-groomed but hardly inspirational Nicklaus layout, costs $30-35,000 to join, plus fairly extensive annual subs, is well regarded, whilst doubt exists about the previous model of St Andrews Beach.

All seems like a 'no-brainer' to me.



#11 John J Jones

John J Jones

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2765 posts

Posted 19 March 2005 - 11:22 AM

Richard,

Welcome to ISG. It's a pleasant change to have an StAB member post without any reference to fruit.

A couple of minor points - yes StAB is a bargain by US prices but last I looked it was 70 mins from Melbourne not 70 mins from New York. Perhaps a better comparison might be the Mornington Peninsula courses or the Sandbelt. We can argue about the value of a "Doak Course" but compared to it's competitors its very expensive upfront. In fact with somewhere like Woodlands asking around $5k to join and a little over $2k a year that 5.4% starts to look pretty good. However as you stated you can either pay up or not.

Interesting your comment that they are 75% of the way there in terms of membership to cover costs. Given Mr Beach has stated that there are 300 members that would indicate that 400 is break even so around $20m is the magic number. From memory there are 1200 shares which would mean the developers are going to do very nicely indeed, in fact to the tune of $40m profit on a $60m income stream. Seems a shame they do use some of that future profit stream to build a permanent clubhouse now. Nothing wrong with turning a profit but a return of 66% when you get to keep title to the underlying asset is a pretty good deal.

Lastly the 70 rounds a day rolls easily off the tongue but anyone familar with the Peninsula (and given you have been in the US perhaps we can excuse you) would know that in winter there are days when 4 people on the course is a big day and even mid week in November it can be very slow. In fact my concern, and I'd be grateful if you could ease it, is that with all the public courses within a kilometre or two, it might be very hard yards indeed. The Dunes, Moonah Links, Eagle Ridge (don't laugh, some punters love it), Portsea, Sorrento, the two at Moonah Links, two at Rosebud etc will all be competitors. Whilst you and I would much prefer to play on a "Doak" (I'm off to Barnbougle later today so I am a fan) 99% of the public are far less knowledgable. Let's not even start on the Eco Lodge when Cape Schanck Resort has changed hands more often than I have swaped drivers and Moonah Links did likewise last year. 70 rounds sounds easy until you look at the amount of competition and the likelyhood that the Doak name won't pull Joe Public as much as a "Thommo" that is home to the National Open.

Again no one doubts the quality of the course and if it was anywhere other than in the middle of the most competitive golf market in this country then I'd think it had a good chance. Feel free to PM me and convince me otherwise. I somehow feel my "most probing concerns" may probe a great deal deeper than yours.

JJ



#12 Richard Stephen Taylor

Richard Stephen Taylor

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts

Posted 19 March 2005 - 10:16 PM

QUOTE: John J Jones @ Mar 19 2005, 12:22 AM

Richard,

Welcome to ISG.  It's a pleasant change to have an StAB member post without any reference to fruit.

A couple of minor points - yes StAB is a bargain by US prices but last I looked it was 70 mins from Melbourne not 70 mins from New York.  Perhaps a better comparison might be the Mornington Peninsula courses or the Sandbelt.  We can argue about the value of a "Doak Course" but compared to it's competitors its very expensive upfront.  In fact with somewhere like Woodlands asking around $5k to join and a little over $2k a year that 5.4% starts to look pretty good.  However as you stated you can either pay up or not.

Interesting your comment that they are 75% of the way there in terms of membership to cover costs.  Given Mr Beach has stated that there are 300 members that would indicate that 400 is break even so around $20m is the magic number.  From memory there are 1200 shares which would mean the developers are going to do very nicely indeed, in fact to the tune of $40m profit on a $60m income stream.  Seems a shame they do use some of that future profit stream to build a permanent clubhouse now.  Nothing wrong with turning a profit but a return of 66% when you get to keep title to the underlying asset is a pretty good deal.

Lastly the 70 rounds a day rolls easily off the tongue but anyone familar with the Peninsula (and given you have been in the US perhaps we can excuse you) would know that in winter there are days when 4 people on the course is a big day and even mid week in November it can be very slow.  In fact my concern, and I'd be grateful if you could ease it, is that with all the public courses within a kilometre or two, it might be very hard yards indeed.  The Dunes, Moonah Links, Eagle Ridge (don't laugh, some punters love it), Portsea, Sorrento, the two at Moonah Links, two at Rosebud etc will all be competitors.  Whilst you and I would much prefer to play on a "Doak" (I'm off to Barnbougle later today so I am a fan) 99% of the public are far less knowledgable.  Let's not even start on the Eco Lodge when Cape Schanck Resort has changed hands more often than I have swaped drivers and Moonah Links did likewise last year.  70 rounds sounds easy until you look at the amount of competition and the likelyhood that the Doak name won't pull Joe Public as much as a "Thommo" that is home to the National Open.

Again no one doubts the quality of the course and if it was anywhere other than in the middle of the most competitive golf market in this country then I'd think it had a good chance.  Feel free to PM me and convince me otherwise.  I somehow feel my "most probing concerns" may probe a great deal deeper than yours.

JJ


My understanding is that the $20-odd million is enough to cover the costs of the purchase of the land, design fees, construction of both courses, other golf-related infrastructure and the clubhouse.

However, if they are still around a hundred members off their target, that's $5 million or so - which is the cost of the permanent clubhouse. A permanent structure would be nice, but I think folly to construct until they do have more members, although undoubtedly pleasurable to have the entire amenity for only a few hundred members!

The developers obviously stand to make a handsome profit, but then there is quite a deal of development in the project as a whole. The eco resort, carparks, roads -a vast and considerable expense - the enormous amount of vegetation removal required, as well as the various sporting facilities on offer will soak up quite an amount, I would think.

I too had some concern about the resort numbers, competition etc, but this was explained to me satisfactorily. Moonah Links changed hands because they had to complete the development prior to the Australian Open being played there a few years back -2002? - and consequently, they had to borrow a large amount of money, which they then couldn't service. I had a brief look at the development, but it wasn't for me - too much housing, one nice but hardly earth shattering course, and one that could only be described as a monstosity. Yet, they have sold around 500 memberships, so clearly your rumination that 99% of public course golfers aren't that interested in design is one of substance, which wouldn't appear to augur well for StAB.

The resort, though, if it comes to fruition as planned, will be an extremely exciting environment, and different, as well as superior enough, from its competitiors to prevail, although, of course, the hospitality game is one of the hardest around.

I think the project will succeed, because, despite your/our assertion that most golfers won't be swayed by the Doak design/name, most would dearly love to play a Kingston Heath, a RM, a Victoria any chance they could, and the second course definitely has the potential to be up there with them, when the other developments nearby clearly aren't anywhere near that league.

The seventy-odd rounds per day also includes members' guests on the Gunnamatta course, so the project isn't entirely reliant upon the success of the Fingal.

My guess, however, is that the monthly fees, or a portion thereof, attached to the cheaper version of membership in the new prospectus, will always be used to underpin the costs of the development, as opposed to flowing into a future profit stream once 26,000 rounds has been passed. So there is security there, too.

Hope this helps.



#13 the_unreal_jeffrey

the_unreal_jeffrey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1928 posts

Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:15 PM

Richard,

Good to read your thoughts, keep them coming.

JJ and Jim,
You keep talking about the interst on $50,000 but how would the money side of things compare to joining The National next door? Lets say you sold your National membership for $30,000 and put the money towards a StAB membership. You would only require an extra $20,000 for a simlar course and the interest on $20,000 would be far less then the annual subs at the National. IF the CLUBS were considered equal, wouldn't StAB work out a lot cheaper or am I missing something?

Also,
I hope StAB is a longterm success. At some stage there will be a big economic downturn and golf clubs will close. My gut feeling tells me it will be the weakest clubs that will not survive (and those over-reliant on course condition). Howver here is a cautionary history lesson relating to StAB. As reported in "The GOlf Course" by Cornish and Whitten:

"Chapter 8 -Golf Architecture in Depression and War.
The stock market crash of 1929, the bank closings of 1930 and the Great Depression brought an ubrupt holt to course development in the United States...Long established clubs were able to weather the storm by implementing austerity measures. But newer clubs, those born of the boom of the 1920s and patronised by younger men of new found wealth, were vulnerable becasue they were overextended financially. Liberal lifetime or single-fee memberships had been handed out as promtional gimmicks. The remaing regular members could not meet the periodic dues. Such new clubs had operational and maintenance expenses to meet, as well as fees to course architects, contractors and subcontractors. With insufficient revenue they were forced to disband. "

Any thoughts anyone?



#14 Jim

Jim

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1073 posts

Posted 21 March 2005 - 12:14 AM

Jeffrey - my advice was if you want to play them then lease. No joining fees, no downside (or upside), no waiting lists - a great way to do it. And that applies to all of them with transferable memberships.

On the second point, even MacKenzie wasn't paid in full for his work at Augusta from memory. But it is always "different this time". smile.gif



#15 mac

mac

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 622 posts

Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:29 AM

I understand it's not the reality of the market - but I looked through the weekend golf results in the Sunday Age today.

For a state with 'so many great courses' it's astounding how much golf is played on Doak 2's,1's and 0's - when one considers Spring Valley ( in the top 20 of over 200) is a Doak 3.

For two courses that are unqestionably 8's at least, it's astounding there is not a waiting list already - there would be if the measure of success of a club was the quality of the architecture

It just goes to prove MacKenzie's view that 'the astounding thing about golf courses is that every man has an affection for the mud heap on which he plays'

St Andrews will thrive at some point in it's history - no courses that good have not -even the blindest of golfers will realize it's fun golf and flock to it in time.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users